Flax, wool, or other fibrous matter, spun into a loose thread; of which cloth or cordage is made. The process in preparing yarn, has been generally treated under the various substances of which it is formed. In this place we shall therefore confine our attention to yarn of a peculiar character, for which a patent was granted in 1832, to Mr. Greaves, of Chorley, in Lancashire. This invention consists in dyeing cotton in the wool, of various colours, and of every gradation of tint, and to mix the same up in various ways, with bleached white cotton, so as, by their union, to produce a self-varied colour of yarn, thread, or stuff, without such fabrics undergoing afterwards, as usual, the process of dyeing.
The patentee states his plan to be, to dye separate portions of cotton-wool of the seven primitive colours; and other portions of cotton-wool of various shades or tints of the foregoing; and with these, together with white cotton, according to the taste of the operator, to prepare yarn. Suppose, for instance, that the manufacturer required a peculiar green, he would take the primitive colours, yellow and blue, and mix them together in such proportions as would produce the exact tint desired, adding yellow to lighten, and blue to deepen the colour; if an orange, yellow and red; if purple, blue and red or pink; and by varying the nature and proportions of the combination of the primitive colours of the cotton-wool, and their several shades, every possible variety of tint, and every gradation of shade, may be obtained with the utmost facility.
When the due proportions of coloured cotton are put together, it is to undergo the same processes as if it were in a white state, - such as roving, spinning, twisting, winding, and doubling, to make it into yarn or thread, in which state it may be either used for sewing, embroidery, etc, or be woven into fabrics, as in other yarns, and will not require any subsequent operation, such as dyeing, beside avoiding the bleaching process, which is always liable to deteriorate the colour as well as the strength of the fabric.
A method of printing yarn was also patented by Mr. Schwabe, of Manchester, in 1831, which is described, with figures, in Hebert's "Journal of Patent Inventions," vol. vi. p. 171, which we have not space to insert.